Issues in the Developed World
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Edited by H. S. Geyer
Chapter 10: E-Government: Turning the Digital Divide into a Digital Dividend in Manchester (UK)
D. Carter Urban development and the impact of the information society New information and communications technologies are playing an increasingly important role, as a key growth sector, in the regeneration of urban economies. This sector is providing the dynamic for the emerging ‘information economy’, or ‘information society’, where convergent technologies (integrating ICT, telecommunications and broadcasting media) come together with multimedia-based teleservices (services utilizing the integration of sound, text and image) to represent a major economic change comparable to a new industrial revolution. Major industrial cities around the world, such as Manchester in the UK, currently face a similar challenge, namely how to respond to the massive economic restructuring that has taken place in urban areas while, at the same time, developing innovative and practical solutions that bring real economic and social benefits to local people. The development of the information society will accelerate the process of restructuring so that within urban areas economic growth sits side by side with extremes of poverty, unemployment and other forms of social exclusion. Up until now the main focus of discussions about the information society has been on the development of ‘information superhighways’, the infrastructure. This is clearly important but often represents a determinist model based on the ‘push’ of the technology rather than on the ‘pull’ of user needs. Many cities, including Manchester, are working hard to recreate a positive vision for themselves as centres of innovative, internationally focused economic, social and cultural activity. They share a commitment to working out policies and...
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